The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has been dealt a number of political blows in Baghdad over the past two years that have left it politically and economically weakened. Much of this stems from a political cleavage between Kurdistan’s two dominant political parties, which had previously managed to largely put aside their differences to put on a united front in Baghdad.

The damage caused by the schism between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) was a central theme of many discussions at the Middle East Peace and Security (MEPS) Forum in Duhok, Kurdistan this week. “The PUK and KDP need to come together and find common ground,” Nechirvan Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) told the MEPS Forum. (CONTINUED - 1046 WORDS)